What can I do if a car dealership sold me a bad car?

Asked over 4 years ago - Albuquerque, NM

I bought a used car and immediately I had problems with the car they fixed it once when i was not under warranty anymore, only because it broke down on the way to the dealership and then I had issues again now they do not feel they have to pay for it. I have evidence that I emailed them about what was wrong with the car before the warranty was over. What I told them was wrong months ago ended up beign what they had to fix this last time. They do not answer my calls and are rude. What can I do legally?

Attorney answers (1)

  1. Ronald Lee Burdge

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . It depends on your paperwork from the sale, in most states. In a used car sale in most states, your legal rights are mostly determined by the paperwork that you sign. If you get a warranty or guarantee then generally the terms of that warranty are all you have to look at to know what your rights are under it. But if your warranty expired before your problem arises, then you may or may not be stuck having to pay for the repair that occurs later. A couple of things can make the difference in many states. If the seller knew or should have known that the problem was there and didn’t tell you, then that may be fraud. If the problem was worked on before the warranty ran out and then arose again later, then the seller still has to fix it (they can’t work on it until the warranty expires and then say you are on your own because that shows they never really fixed it at all, which is what the warranty required them to do). If you never complained about the problem, but it was there all along and only arose after the warranty expired, then you will have to be able to show that the problem was there and the seller either knew or should have known about it and basically hid it from you. Another thing to look at, for your warranty rights, is the selling dealer’s “Buyers Guide” sticker that was required to be on the vehicle when you bought it. There’s a federal law that requires all car dealers to post on the window of all used cars they are selling a special “Buyer Guide” form (it’s often called a Used Car Window Sticker) that discloses whether or not a warranty comes with the car. Many small lot car dealers don’t comply with the law. If they don’t, then you may end up with a warranty after all and you may even have the right to cancel the sale. The back side of the form has to be completely filled out and many car lots, big and small, fail to do that too and that failure can also trigger your right to cancel the deal. You can see what the Buyer Guide form looks like on this web site page: http://ohiolemonlaw.com/used-car-lemon-law.html . You need to talk to a local Consumer Law attorney who deals with this kind of case (it's called "autofraud" or car sales fraud). Call your local attorney's Bar Association and ask for a referral to a Consumer Law attorney near you or you can go to this web site page for a Free Online 50 State National List of Consumer Law Lawyers (http://www.ohiolemonlaw.com/ocll-site/ocll-loca...) and find one near you (lawyers don’t pay to get listed here and most of them are members of the only national association for Consumer Law lawyers, NACA.net). But act quickly because for every legal right you have, there is only a limited amount of time to actually file a lawsuit in court or your rights expire (it's called the statute of limitations), so don't waste your time getting to a Consumer Law attorney and finding out what your rights are. If this answer was helpful, please check the box below.

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